Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, French, American
Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Metro Center, Federal Triangle
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Rowdy
Oysters; “faux gras” terrine; Gruyère gougères; grilled cheese with a three-cheese béchamel for dipping; fried chicken; cheeseburger with cheddar and bacon; coconut Pavlova; hazelnut-backed riff o
Is there a chef more joyfully indulgent than Michel Richard? At his bustling, blond-wood-paneled bistro, Richard is all about over-the-top fun, serving his famed fried chicken in fast-food-style buckets and an already-gooey grilled-cheese sandwich with a three-cheese dipping sauce.
During the day, deals are made over bacon cheeseburgers and the best corned-beef sandwiches in town. Ties are loosened at night, and such go-down-easy cocktails as an old fashioned made with Maker's Mark and figs keep a crowd around the bar. The dining room is a prime place for celebrating with Champagne and Richard's fabulous desserts.
What to get: Cracker-thin bacon-and-onion tart; goat-cheese Caesar salad; oysters on the half shell; rockfish, shrimp, and mussels in lobster broth; tuna and lamb burgers with fries; meringue with berries and whipped cream; Michel's Chocolate Bar, a riff on a Kit Kat; crème brûlée; napoleon.
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Moderate.